Received from a Chiriquí Chatter reader.
Protesters from the Suntracs Labor Union have effectively shut down traffic from entering and leaving David on the InterAmericana Hwy. around Noon today. Traffic was backed over several kilometers on each side of the InterAmericana as Protesters were centered around the Chiriqui Mall area of the Autopista. Police told motorists that they were not intending to intervene to clear the roadway and would let the protesters carry on. The Protesters were lighting tire fires in the middle of the InterAmericana roadway.
The timing of the Protests seemed designed to inconvenience as many people as possible with the Noon time commencement of the Protests. Those traveling to David this morning on business will be unable to get back in a timely manner this afternoon to their homes, while those going to David this afternoon will not be able to get in.
The Suntracs Union Protesters are in collusion with the Ngobe Bugle Indians and other indigenous peoples over the Mineral Rights debate over their lands. The offer from the National Government for payment for mining rights appears most unsatisfactory to the Indigneous peoples and now, Suntracs.
Suntracs is perhaps, the most powerful labor union in Panama, and represents many of the country’s construction workers. There appears to be enough anarchists and nihilists on both sides of the political spectrum in the Union that they wish to show solidarity with the minority Indians in their dealing with the National Government in shutting down main traffic routes and basic transportation services.
This is only an initial report based on my experiences trying to access David just earlier. I am sure that as more information develops, that we can determine just how long the protest may last, and if there will be a continuance tomorrow or the next few days.